Wrench Tales #5: Chris Arriazola

June 19, 2024
Brandon and Chris use pressure waveforms to accurately pinpoint a bent intake valve!

We’re back for the latest episode of Wrench Tales with Motor Age’s Technical Editor, Brandon Steckler. This time with his great friend and former student of Brandon’s, Chris Arriazola of Pride and Joy Auto in Amarillo, TX.

Chris was faced with a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS V8 that experienced a strange rhythmic ticking noise from the valve train and a misfire from one of the cylinders. Through previous experience, Chris believed it to be caused by a faulty/collapsed AFM intake lifter. Using only his lab scope, hi-amp probe, pressure transducer, and Event Timing Overlays (from The Driveability Guys), Chris quickly uncovered an engine mechanical fault.

Reaching out to Brandon with the captured data in hand, together they tag-teamed the analysis. Through a multi-trace lab scope capture, they were able to derive that there was nothing wrong with the intake lifter but definitely an issue with the #8 cylinder’s intake valve sealing properly.

Stick with Brandon and Chris as they discuss the analytical process and what the testing offered for Chris regarding his confidence in disassembling the engine to pinpoint the problem. The in-depth discussion can only be found here on Wrench Tales!  

About the Author

Brandon Steckler | Motor Age Technical Editor

Brandon began his career in Northampton County Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he was a student of GM’s Automotive Service Educational program. In 2001, he graduated top of his class and earned the GM Leadership award for his efforts. He later began working as a technician at a Saturn dealership in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he quickly attained Master Technician status. He later transitioned to working with Hondas, where he aggressively worked to attain another Master Technician status.

Always having a passion for a full understanding of system/component functionality, he rapidly earned a reputation for deciphering strange failures at an efficient pace and became known as an information specialist among the staff and peers at the dealership. In search of new challenges, he transitioned away from the dealership and to the independent world, where he specialized in diagnostics and driveability. 

Today, he is an instructor with both Carquest Technical Institute and Worldpac Training Institute. Along with beta testing for Automotive Test Solutions, he develops curriculum/submits case studies for educational purposes. Through Steckler Automotive Technical Services, LLC., Brandon also provides telephone and live technical support, as well as private training, for technicians all across the world.

Brandon holds ASE certifications A1-A9 as well as C1 (Service Consultant). He is certified as an Advanced Level Specialist in L1 (Advanced Engine Performance), L2 (Advanced Diesel Engine Performance), L3 (Hybrid/EV Specialist), L4 (ADAS) and xEV-Level 2 (Technician electrical safety).

He contributes weekly to Facebook automotive chat groups, has authored several books and classes, and truly enjoys traveling across the globe to help other technicians attain a level of understanding that will serve them well throughout their careers.